Designed to free up lots of the controls of Serato when using it as a DVS system, the DDJ-SP1 is the first such controller from Pioneer DJ. Intended to be used alongside a DVS Serato DJ set-up, this gives you performance pads with seven modes for hot cue, roll, sampler, slicer and loops, slip mode and even Serato Video control, all to liberate you from reaching for the laptop to do these.
First Impressions / Setting up
The Pioneer DDJ-SP1 is a Midi controller specifically designed to work with Serato DJ. Despite being designed for Serato, the DDJ-SP1’s 16 pads can be remapped to work with any DJ software. It can also be used standlone with CDJs, though the functionality is limited to a handful of features such as triggering cue points.
A single fader knob in the middle controls the volume, three knobs on both sides for controlling FX parameters and a BPM jogwheel make up the main controls of the DDJ-SP1. Sync and auto-loop functions are also available. The DDJ-SP1 connects via a single USB slot.
The DDJ-SP1 is very compact but its buttons and knobs all feel very durable and can probably endure intense playing and travel. The FX buttons and knobs control the effects when used with Serato DJ.
A template is available if you want to use the DDJ-SP1 with other software which is great.
Most Amazon reviewers enjoyed their DDJ-SP1 citing its compatibility and ease-of-use as selling points.
If there is something to nitpick about the DDJ-SP1 is that it could have used more options to manipulate effects instead of just a single volume fader, though it assumes you’re already using a DJ mixer that has EQs and perhaps other FX onboard such as filters and modulation effects like in Pioneer DJ’s DJM mixer range.
The Pioneer DDJ-SP1 is a great addition for DJs who are looking for more control in their Serato DJ-powered rig, and can also be used standalone with CDJs though the functionality is limited. It is well-built and has more than enough controls to add flavor to your sets.